Walking Boots or Walking Shoes

Walking Boots or Walking Shoes

Do you prefer walking boots or walking shoes? This may come down to personal preference, but what should you be looking for when choosing between the two?

Read on for our guide to choosing Walking Boots or Walking Shoes

Traditionally boots were big and heavy, providing lots of protection and support, while shoes were light but less supportive.

With modern materials and design these boundaries are a bit more blurred, so which is best for you?

In this blog we take a look at what you should be looking out for when choosing a pair of walking boots or walking shoes and the key differences between the two.

What are the key differences between Walking Boots and Walking Shoes?


Modern walking shoes are designed to support your feet and do a great job of it! But as the shoe sits below the ankle this is not supported. On uneven terrain a boot can reduce the risk of rolling or twisting your ankle.


Walking shoes are lighter than their boot counterparts. Simply down to being made with less material. Although modern boots can be very light – shoes tend to be the lightest option.


With more practical considerations taken, it may come down to your preference. Especially if you are new to walking boots, you may feel more comfortable in something closer in feel and appearance to your everyday shoes.
Or perhaps you just want to look the part in the visitor centre or during your post walk drink!

Things to consider when choosing walking boots or walking shoes


Do you usually stick to the paths? Or are you an off road rambler?

The sort of terrain which you are walking on will be more suited to a boot or a shoe. If you stick to the paths, then a walking shoe will likely be all you need.

However, if the terrain you tread is more rugged, a boot may provide you with more support and give you precision in every step!

Paths and Trails – Shoes
Rough or uneven terrain – Boots


The longer your walk, the more strain you put on your body and therefore the more support is needed. For short daily walks a pair of walking shoes are perfect, the less restrictive nature is perfect for shorter walks.

Long walks – Boots
Shorter walks – Shoes


While both boots and shoes can have waterproof linings, boots will stand up to more abuse from the great British weather!

Shoes are perfect for warm spring or summer days with the odd shower, but once the mercury drops you will be longing for the added insulation of a boot.

Spring or summer walking – Shoes
All year – Boots

What are you carrying?

Do you head out with just a daypack with food, water and essentials? Or are you carrying heavy loads?
The more weight you carry, the more support you need. A boot will support your ankle and lower leg giving you more stability especially when you balance is altered by a heavy pack.

Light or no carrying weight – Shoes
Heavy packs – Boots